*fancy bottom picture by Keirsten*
Yesterday afternoon the kids and I went on a last minute road trip to Assiniboia.
We can do that because meal share. (Echoes out in space)
We went on our happy way, discussing horrible current events and dropping off some tools and lunch to daddy once we got there.
We explored the Salvation Army and hardware stores. We weren’t in a rush and we got helium balloons (happy birthday home hardware) and fresh donuts from the small town bakery. Life was perfect.
I wasn’t consumed with needing to get home to make supper because I knew Keirsten had it covered.
It feels like a dream to be pulling into town at 5:00 and having a home cooked nourishing supper ready for us.
I show up at Keirsten’s with my giant bowl and she dishes us all up as we discuss the latest skin fungus.
Supper is made for me every night except one. I feel like a princess.
And because we only cook one night a week, we each put extra time and effort into making a big glorious grass fed meal.
Last night we had ham from Sloughbottom farms with mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies. And oftwn we have leftovers for lunch and so I don’t have to make that either!
This has become the norm for us.
It seemed daunting and big at first to be organized, commited, communist and responsible for feeding five families.
We started out one week, just to try it.
We had no idea the impact that it could have…
Many people had declined saying that they could barely make meals for their own family and that they couldn’t commit to joining us.
Turns out that making one large meal is way easier than making smaller meals all week. Who knew?!?!
It’s also somehow cheaper. Maybe because we aren’t planning and grocery shopping for a bunch of separate meals? Maybe because we can shop bulk for one meal a week rather than seven small meals? Maybe it’s because coming together expands us.
Coming together expands us beyond what we are individually.
We are onto week four of meal sharing now with no intention of stopping. This has seriously changed our lives.
Now, instead of preparing supper, I keep a cleaner kitchen and spend time with my kids in the afternoon. Or I take a bath *gasp*. I haven’t been able to clean myself in seven years.
I recommend that everyone try this. People are suppose to be sharing their efforts. We are not solitary creatures.
People often criticize the Hutterite colonies for the demands placed on each of the members.
But you know what? When I go out to the Hutterite colony after supper, they are all outside talking and swinging. Swinging!
They are fed, the dishes are done, their homes are clean and now they can swing.
They take turns cooking and sharing the work. It makes sense.
My advice to anyone that wants to get started is to do it with a few families that are close by. Sometimes supper runs a little late and you don’t want to be too far to pick it up. (Or you could make it as a freezer meal that they just heat up and they can pick it up ahead of time.)
Five familias works well for us and I wouldn’t want to make for more people than that, so keep that in mind.
Everyone picks a day. We take off Saturday and Sunday to eat up leftovers. Sometimes I cook an extra day or make snacks to compensate for my large families extra food needs.
It works better to have people pick up earlier, like 5:00, so that it’s not really late when the family hosting the meal sits down to eat.
Everyone has been so considerate of everyone’s need to go on detox diets and not eat liver. I love how we now see eachother at least once a day and we are communicating more and about real stuff. Like supper. Supper is real. And having a nourishing, homemade supper every night that is ready, will increase your quality of life. You might even have time to brush your teeth and say hello to the mailman.